Team – Sawari Ventures

Who We Are

  • AHMED
    EL ALFI

    Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures, named as one of the most creative people in the world by Fast Company, Ahmed El Alfi has been an early stage/growth investor for over 30 years, translating to an extensive experience in funding and nurturing early stage companies. In 1990, he founded Hybrid Capital Partners, a private investment partnership. Hybrid Capital has funded, helped grow and exited several successful companies. From 2010 to 2013 he founded Sawari Ventures, Flat6Labs, Nafham, and TATP. Flat6Labs is the MENA region’s leading startup accelerator. Nafham is the top Arabic online video educational platform covering the Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian public school curriculums, Nafham has given over 100 million free video lessons to students. TATP took over management of half of the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Square campus to form The GrEEK Campus; a 25,000 square meter office park where over 130 companies work and collaborate.

    In addition to Sawari Ventures’ portfolio of investments, his current portfolio includes NeuroTrainer, Pacific Toxicology, as well as Zignal Labs.

    Prior to becoming an early stage investor in 1990, he was Senior Vice President of Jefferies & Company, where he worked for 10 years. He has served on the Boards of Directors or Advisors of several corporate boards as well as multiple academic institutions.

  • HANY AL SONBATY

    Hany Al-Sonbaty is Managing Partner of Sawari Ventures, and co-founder of Flat6Labs, the largest accelerator in the MENA region, which helps entrepreneurs launch their companies through funding, training and mentorship. His focus at Sawari centers around helping up and coming founders push the boundaries of the status quo toward creative disruption.

    Hany has over 20 years experience in private equity and venture capital. Prior to co-founding Sawari Ventures, he was a Partner and Head of the Technology, Media and Telecom investments section at EFG-Hermes Private Equity, a leading private equity house in the Middle East. During this time, he founded Ideavelopers, EFG-Hermes Private Equity’s dedicated venture arm, pioneering the introduction of institutional venture capital in MENA and launching the Technology Development Fund, one of the region’s first serial TMT-focused venture capital funds. He also managed EHPE’s largest general fund, Horus III, with a total portfolio size in excess of $500 million.

    Hany holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Masters of Science Degree in Communications and Signal Processing from Imperial College, London.

  • WAEL AMIN

    Wael became an entrepreneur at an early age founding his first company while still in College. After graduating at the age of 18, Wael Co-Founded ITWorx, and led its growth over a period of 20 years from start-up to one of the largest and most influential IT companies in the Middle East. Through its history, ITWorx has created more than 5000 jobs, expanded to 12 countries across 4 continents and won countless industry accolades. During his tenure at ITWorx, the company acquired Egyptian startup Otlob.com incubating it to become the largest e-commerce property in the Middle East before eventually selling it, it has also successfully incubated and spun off a number of successful startups, in Laserstorm, NetCelera, and ITWorx Education. Having produced more than 200 entrepreneurs responsible for 100+ Egyptian technology start-ups, ITWorx is generally considered the most impactful company in the Egypt IT ecosystem.

    Wael holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science (1993) and an MBA (2004) from the American University in Cairo (“AUC”). He is a frequent lecturer on the transformational impact of technology and a guest lecturer at the AUC MBA program. He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures, named as one of the most creative people in the world by Fast Company, Ahmed El Alfi has been an early stage/growth investor for over 30 years, translating to an extensive experience in funding and nurturing early stage companies. In 1990, he founded Hybrid Capital Partners, a private investment partnership. Hybrid Capital has funded, helped grow and exited several successful companies. From 2010 to 2013 he founded Sawari Ventures, Flat6Labs, Nafham, and TATP. Flat6Labs is the MENA region’s leading startup accelerator. Nafham is the top Arabic online video educational platform covering the Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian public school curriculums, Nafham has given over 100 million free video lessons to students. TATP took over management of half of the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Square campus to form The GrEEK Campus; a 25,000 square meter office park where over 130 companies work and collaborate.

In addition to Sawari Ventures’ portfolio of investments, his current portfolio includes NeuroTrainer, Pacific Toxicology, as well as Zignal Labs.

Prior to becoming an early stage investor in 1990, he was Senior Vice President of Jefferies & Company, where he worked for 10 years. He has served on the Boards of Directors or Advisors of several corporate boards as well as multiple academic institutions.

Hany Al-Sonbaty is Managing Partner of Sawari Ventures, and co-founder of Flat6Labs, the largest accelerator in the MENA region, which helps entrepreneurs launch their companies through funding, training and mentorship. His focus at Sawari centers around helping up and coming founders push the boundaries of the status quo toward creative disruption.

Hany has over 20 years experience in private equity and venture capital. Prior to co-founding Sawari Ventures, he was a Partner and Head of the Technology, Media and Telecom investments section at EFG-Hermes Private Equity, a leading private equity house in the Middle East. During this time, he founded Ideavelopers, EFG-Hermes Private Equity’s dedicated venture arm, pioneering the introduction of institutional venture capital in MENA and launching the Technology Development Fund, one of the region’s first serial TMT-focused venture capital funds. He also managed EHPE’s largest general fund, Horus III, with a total portfolio size in excess of $500 million.

Hany holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Masters of Science Degree in Communications and Signal Processing from Imperial College, London.

Wael became an entrepreneur at an early age founding his first company while still in College. After graduating at the age of 18, Wael Co-Founded ITWorx, and led its growth over a period of 20 years from start-up to one of the largest and most influential IT companies in the Middle East. Through its history, ITWorx has created more than 5000 jobs, expanded to 12 countries across 4 continents and won countless industry accolades. During his tenure at ITWorx, the company acquired Egyptian startup Otlob.com incubating it to become the largest e-commerce property in the Middle East before eventually selling it, it has also successfully incubated and spun off a number of successful startups, in Laserstorm, NetCelera, and ITWorx Education. Having produced more than 200 entrepreneurs responsible for 100+ Egyptian technology start-ups, ITWorx is generally considered the most impactful company in the Egypt IT ecosystem.

Wael holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science (1993) and an MBA (2004) from the American University in Cairo (“AUC”). He is a frequent lecturer on the transformational impact of technology and a guest lecturer at the AUC MBA program. He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Investment Team

  • Ibrahim
    Ramadan

    PRINCIPAL

    Ibrahim
    Ramadan

    PRINCIPAL

    Ibrahim is a Principal at Sawari. Ibrahim joined the firm in 2016, at the time as the only non-partner in the team, where he worked to raise, structure, and close Sawari’s first two institutional funds. Prior to joining Sawari, he worked as a financial consultant to a number of startups in Egypt, primarily in the tech and media sectors. He also previously worked in Ahli United Bank’s corporate division covering the telecom, petrochemicals, and construction sectors. Ibrahim started his career at the Institute of Corporate Governance, where he focused on restructuring SME’s.

    Ibrahim holds a Master of Science in Macro and International Economics from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. He is also an avid coffee enthusiast, and a certified Barista.

  • Farah
    Abd El-Gawad

    Senior Associate

    Farah
    Abd El-Gawad

    Senior Associate

    Farah is a Senior Investment Associate at Sawari. She has experience in private equity, asset management and venture capital, encompassing a range of sectors, including non-bank financial services, agribusiness, FMCG and petrochemicals. Prior to working at Sawari, she co-managed public equity, fixed income and money market funds totaling more than 2 billion Egyptian pounds at NBK Capital.

    She has also worked at Tanmeya Capital Ventures, one of Egypt’s fastest growing private equity firms where she was part of the team that closed the first three transactions of the firm’s fund in less than two years totaling $12 million. Prior to that she worked at the Sawiris Foundation for Environmental Development where she took part in formulating the foundation’s overall strategy and was responsible for sourcing funding for its projects.

    Farah holds a bachelor’s in Finance from the American University in Cairo.

  • Sara
    Ebeid

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Sara
    Ebeid

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Sara is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. She has experience in asset management and portfolio Management working for several top investment firms in Toronto. Prior to joining Sawari, Sara worked as an Analyst for Starlight Investments, a real estate investments and asset management firm, assisting in managing the Canadian Multi-Family portfolio, a portfolio comprising over $10 billion in assets. Previously, she also worked for Fidelity Investments as a Business Development Associate, preparing portfolio proposals for investment advisors encompassing mutual funds, ETFs and fixed income.

    Sara holds a bachelor’s of Commerce from Dalhousie University and has completed her CSC designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.

  • Basmat
    Al-Sabbah Fareed

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Basmat
    Al-Sabbah Fareed

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Basma is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. Prior to working at Sawari she worked in tech startups including Smart Medical Services, a tech focused medical company and Cognitev, an AI company using machine learning to re-make marketing, where she performed roles ranging from business planning, to strategy and operations, to project management of technical teams. Prior to that she worked in the nonprofit sector at Catholic Relief Services as a Business Consultant for refugees who were starting new businesses in Egypt.

    Basma graduated summa cum laude from the American University in Cairo with a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

  • Omar
    Shawky

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Omar
    Shawky

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Omar is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. He has experience in non-banking financial services and tech startups, ranging from e-commerce and health-tech to AI and computer vision. He leveraged his early experiences to land an analyst internship role at Chicago boutique investment bank Blackmore Partners, while also working for cosmetics startup Eva Gardens. Prior to joining Sawari, Omar was an Analyst at PG&E’s San Francisco headquarters where he led a team responsible for coordinating payment terms with multinational vendors.

    Omar holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Hult International Business School.

  • Ibrahim
    Ramadan

    PRINCIPAL

    Ibrahim is a Principal at Sawari. Ibrahim joined the firm in 2016, at the time as the only non-partner in the team, where he worked to raise, structure, and close Sawari’s first two institutional funds. Prior to joining Sawari, he worked as a financial consultant to a number of startups in Egypt, primarily in the tech and media sectors. He also previously worked in Ahli United Bank’s corporate division covering the telecom, petrochemicals, and construction sectors. Ibrahim started his career at the Institute of Corporate Governance, where he focused on restructuring SME’s.

    Ibrahim holds a Master of Science in Macro and International Economics from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. He is also an avid coffee enthusiast, and a certified Barista.

  • Farah
    Abd El-Gawad

    Senior Associate

    Farah is a Senior Investment Associate at Sawari. She has experience in private equity, asset management and venture capital, encompassing a range of sectors, including non-bank financial services, agribusiness, FMCG and petrochemicals. Prior to working at Sawari, she co-managed public equity, fixed income and money market funds totaling more than 2 billion Egyptian pounds at NBK Capital.

    She has also worked at Tanmeya Capital Ventures, one of Egypt’s fastest growing private equity firms where she was part of the team that closed the first three transactions of the firm’s fund in less than two years totaling $12 million. Prior to that she worked at the Sawiris Foundation for Environmental Development where she took part in formulating the foundation’s overall strategy and was responsible for sourcing funding for its projects.

    Farah holds a bachelor’s in Finance from the American University in Cairo.

  • Sara
    Ebeid

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Sara is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. She has experience in asset management and portfolio Management working for several top investment firms in Toronto. Prior to joining Sawari, Sara worked as an Analyst for Starlight Investments, a real estate investments and asset management firm, assisting in managing the Canadian Multi-Family portfolio, a portfolio comprising over $10 billion in assets. Previously, she also worked for Fidelity Investments as a Business Development Associate, preparing portfolio proposals for investment advisors encompassing mutual funds, ETFs and fixed income.

    Sara holds a bachelor’s of Commerce from Dalhousie University and has completed her CSC designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.

  • Basmat
    Al-Sabbah Fareed

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Basma is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. Prior to working at Sawari she worked in tech startups including Smart Medical Services, a tech focused medical company and Cognitev, an AI company using machine learning to re-make marketing, where she performed roles ranging from business planning, to strategy and operations, to project management of technical teams. Prior to that she worked in the nonprofit sector at Catholic Relief Services as a Business Consultant for refugees who were starting new businesses in Egypt.

    Basma graduated summa cum laude from the American University in Cairo with a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

  • Omar
    Shawky

    Senior Investment Analyst

    Omar is an Investment Analyst at Sawari. He has experience in non-banking financial services and tech startups, ranging from e-commerce and health-tech to AI and computer vision. He leveraged his early experiences to land an analyst internship role at Chicago boutique investment bank Blackmore Partners, while also working for cosmetics startup Eva Gardens. Prior to joining Sawari, Omar was an Analyst at PG&E’s San Francisco headquarters where he led a team responsible for coordinating payment terms with multinational vendors.

    Omar holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Hult International Business School.

Compliance Team

  • Jennifer
    Schoeberlein

    Environmental, Social and Governance Officer

    Jennifer
    Schoeberlein

    Environmental, Social and Governance Officer

    Jennifer is the Environmental, Social and Governance Officer at Sawari Ventures, where she is responsible for ESG standard adherence and risk assessment at fund and portfolio level.
    Her career includes positions at HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance in Berlin and the Egyptian Junior Business Association in Cairo, where she worked on engaging the private sector in anti-corruption efforts and building the compliance capacities of SMEs.

    She has (co-)published widely on business integrity, multi stakeholder-cooperation, and anti-corruption and has developed and executed a variety of workshops and senior management trainings.

    Jennifer holds an M.Sc. in Social Sciences from the University of Hamburg/Germany.

  • Khaled
    El Tanany

    Compliance Officer

    Khaled
    El Tanany

    Compliance Officer

    Khaled is the Compliance and Anti Money Laundering manager at Sawari. Prior to joining Sawari, Khaled worked as a director of the internal control and head of AML at Ostoul Group for Financial Investments. He also worked for 18 years at Concord International Group for asset management as a head of the operations department, preparing the daily evaluation of assets and also supervising the implementation of the decisions of the Investment Committee. He also worked as an external control and auditor for several banks like Qatar National Bank Al Ahly-QNB, Blom Bank and Banque du Caire.

    Khaled holds a license for both the Compliance and AML officer from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and a Master’s Degree in Financial Accounting and Auditing, he also holds several professional certificates in the fields of the Compliance, AML and FATCA.

  • Jennifer
    Schoeberlein

    Environmental, Social and Governance Officer

    Jennifer
    Schoeberlein

    Environmental, Social and Governance Officer

    Jennifer is the Environmental, Social and Governance Officer at Sawari Ventures, where she is responsible for ESG standard adherence and risk assessment at fund and portfolio level.
    Her career includes positions at HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance in Berlin and the Egyptian Junior Business Association in Cairo, where she worked on engaging the private sector in anti-corruption efforts and building the compliance capacities of SMEs.

    She has (co-)published widely on business integrity, multi stakeholder-cooperation, and anti-corruption and has developed and executed a variety of workshops and senior management trainings.

    Jennifer holds an M.Sc. in Social Sciences from the University of Hamburg/Germany.

  • Khaled
    El Tanany

    Compliance Officer

    Khaled
    El Tanany

    Compliance Officer

    Khaled is the Compliance and Anti Money Laundering manager at Sawari. Prior to joining Sawari, Khaled worked as a director of the internal control and head of AML at Ostoul Group for Financial Investments. He also worked for 18 years at Concord International Group for asset management as a head of the operations department, preparing the daily evaluation of assets and also supervising the implementation of the decisions of the Investment Committee. He also worked as an external control and auditor for several banks like Qatar National Bank Al Ahly-QNB, Blom Bank and Banque du Caire.

    Khaled holds a license for both the Compliance and AML officer from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and a Master’s Degree in Financial Accounting and Auditing, he also holds several professional certificates in the fields of the Compliance, AML and FATCA.